Pubdate: Mon, 06 May 2002
Source: Guardian, The (UK)
Copyright: 2002 Guardian Newspapers Limited
Author: Jamie Wilson
Bookmark: (Cannabis - United Kingdom)


Thousands of pro-cannabis demonstrators held peaceful marches and outdoor
parties, picnics and festivals in cities across Britain at the weekend to
campaign for legalisation of the drug. The marches in London, Manchester and
Birmingham, were part of almost 200 similar events planned around the world
this weekend billed as the Million Marijuana March.

"The march is to protest for legalisation and the festival is a celebration
of cannabis," said Shane Collins, licensee for the Cannabis Carnival in
Brixton, south London, on Saturday, which had begun with a carnival style
march from Kenning ton Park. "Because cannabis has been downgraded to a
class C drug, a lot of people think it's now legal. It is not. If we want to
get rid of the problems of prohibition we have to get rid of prohibition

Police in Brixton have been experimenting with a "softly softly" approach to
cannabis, pioneered by controversial police commander Brian Paddick, who is
being investigated by the police complaints authority over allegations he
regularly smoked the drug.

Johnjo Nally, owner of Dr Herman's Hemp Shop and organiser of the Manchester
march, said: "The event was just brilliant. The police were amazing. The day
passed off really peacefully."
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